The ASMR Experience

As far back as I can remember, and I’m talking like 3 or 4 years old, I’ve experienced this . . . thing.  It’s a thing that I didn’t know if everyone experienced or nobody else experienced.  Nobody I knew talked about it, so I never did.

This thing is a tickling sensation that starts in the back of my brain and then, if it’s powerful enough, travels all the way down my spine.  It’s an extremely calming and pleasurable feeling.  Have you ever had someone else gently touch your skin and it felt really soothing?  It’s like that, except it’s my brain stem and spinal column that are getting that touch.

What brings this sensation about is hard to pin down.  Sometimes it comes from a touch, like on the scalp.  But more often it comes as a result of experiencing something external.  Certain sounds or visual experiences can set off this tickling sensation.  After I’ve experienced those events, just thinking about them afterwards can bring about the same effect.

The earliest memory I have of this feeling was from childhood doctor checkups.  My doctor, Dr. Pink, had this soft, baritone voice.  He’d check my heart and lungs with a stethoscope.  He’d look at me and say, “Now, this will be cold.”  It always was.  The memory of his voice and the cold stethoscope moving about my skin between breaths would send shockwaves of this tingling sensation through my brain for years.

Since that point I’ve encountered hundreds of triggers.  They always been small events that everyone experiences but probably only few take note of.  If there’s one commonality between all these triggers, I would say they all involve something that a person does that, when analyzed, appears either to be just slightly out of the ordinary or unnecessary.

Vague enough?  I suppose I can only explain with examples.  First of all, the doctor visits.  When you sit there being examined by a doctor, aren’t there some things they do or say that you don’t understand and may seem unnecessary?  They probably aren’t, but to our ignorant, non-medical minds, they seem like they are.  Like, why do they only move the stethoscope two inches between your breaths?  Why all of a sudden was it moved four inches?  Why did he just move it back to a spot you thought he already checked?  Why is it so cold?  I never knew.  These moves just seemed slightly off.  Brain tickle!

Still on doctors, here’s a video clip of an doctor’s practice examination (from the ASMR YouTube site).  Why does the doctor always cover up one of her eyes whenever she asks the patient to cover up one of his?  Could she really gain any important information by (very briefly) checking the strength of his tongue?  So many triggers here.

But as I said, there have been hundreds of triggers.

  • My cousin trying to light a stick on fire by swiping it again the ground like it was a match and the ground was a matchbox when we were 6.
  • The audio tape we listened to in kindergarten of grownups talking about their profession.  The barber would talk but would always stop mid-sentence to “snip snip” and then finish the sentence.
  • Carlos Santana constantly adjusting the knobs on his guitar between solo runs.  Sometimes he didn’t even have time to turn it, but he would put his hand down to at least touch the knob anyway.
  • Someone talking to a group or even just another person at a normal level, but then dropping to a whisper for one sentence for some reason before returning to normal voice.  Go to 3:45 of this video of the Simpsons to get an example.
  • My co-worker at my maintenance job at the speedway showing me how to fix a rusty faucet.  He’d take the grate off the faucet, run it under running water, and the *tap tap tap* on the side of the since, repeat.  It was always three taps.  This went on for over a minute, and always *tap tap tap*.   Then he’d take his wrench and tap the side of the faucet with it to loosen up any rust inside.  This always two taps and then a quick move.  *Tap tap*, move, *tap tap*, move, *tap tap*.  Why so exact with the tapping?
  • A TV hypnotist who would put people to sleep just by waiving his hand in front of their faces and saying “sleeeeeeeep!”  Then he would wake them up by counting backwards from 10, but it wasn’t a smooth count.  “10-9-8-7,” then he would tell them they are slowly coming out of it and would remind them what was going to happen once they woke up.  “6-5-4,” then he’d say “we’re coming up on 1,” as if it had been a long wait.  “3-2-(pause)-1.”
  • Bob Ross

Did I mention Bob Ross?  Those who know me know I have a weird fascination with the guy (may he rest in peace), even though I do not paint.  He is a brain tickling master!  Everything about him, from his calm voice, to he quirky way he describes what he’s painting (“happy little clouds” anyone?), to the brush strokes he makes total sets the sensation on high.  My personal favorite memonets are whenever he cleans the brush (same motion everytime, and does that really get the brush dry?), when he fluffs up the clouds, and whenever he needs to “blend everything together,” even when there’s only a blue sky on the canvas.  I’m so hooked on this guy that my wife bought me a three-DVD set composed entirely of him painting seascapes!

For the longest time, I was unsure if I was alone in experiencing this sensation.  I’ve explained it to some people before, but those that I had talked to could not relate to what I was trying to relay to them.  Was I the only one who felt this feeling?  For the first 31 years of my life, I figured I must be.

Then about a month ago, I did something I should have done years ago.  I Googled it.  I can’t remember exactly what I put in to search, probably “brain tickling” or something.  Maybe 4 or 5 links down, I saw a Yahoo Answers page.  The original poster asked if anyone else had ever experienced this tickling sensation in the back of the brain like he/she had.  The poster described it as something that came about as the result of certain external stimuli, like tapping or scratching.

That was it!  Somebody out there got it!  In one of the answers, I found this link.  It’s a page dedicated to this “Unnamed Feeling” as it’s described.  The author described the feeling the best he could in print, and listed off common triggers.  It’s on this page when I first learned of the name ASMR, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.  This is the name that I began to associate with the sensation.

From this page I was also directed to an ASMR Facebook group, a Twitter feed, and a YouTube channel.  There are 1000s of brain ticklers out there!  And lucky for me, they post ASMR videos for my enjoyment.  Some of their triggers don’t do anything for me, like nail scratching and gum-chewing.  But others are amazing!

I’m to understand that this sensation lessens as we age.  I believe that, unfortunately.  This sensation might disappear completely when I’m older.  Sad.

Anyway, I wrote this because I saw somebody else wrote a blog about his ASMR experience and I got inspired.  Most people who read it will still have no idea what I’m talking about it, and may watch the videos and just get more confused.  Sorry.  Unfortunately, either you get it or you don’t.

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Read My Sign, Damn It!

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Earlier this week, the Supreme Court “listened” to three days of arguments concerning the big health care law passed a few years back.  Although their decision won’t be released for another couple of months, you can tell by the Tweets they posted during the arguments what was on their minds.

@BillsFan55 (Chief Justice John Roberts): These guys yackin bout health care, should be health I don’t care!  LOLZ!

@TeamJacob4ever (Justice Stephen Breyer): The solicitor general is totally trying to hold in a fart right now. #cheeksqueeze

@FatMarinaraBalls (Justice Antonin Scalia): After last night, I’m hoping hangovers are covered by this health care plan.  #iceluge

@ScaliaFan7 (Justice Samuel Alito): Arguments soooo long.  Why did I have that 5th coffee this morning?? #mudbutt

@BeiberFan1948 (Justice Clarence Thomas): I stopped listening to arguments when I figured out that we’re all actually trapped in the Matrix.

Outside the courthouse, dozens if not hundreds of protesters from both sides of the debate carried signs and chanted loudly, all there to voice their common messages, “Hey, look at me!!!” and “I’m bored and literally have NOTHING else to do right now!!!”

In reality, protesting outside of the Supreme Court accomplishes little.  It’s not like the justices can hear the chants or see the protesters.  It’s common knowledge that the justices never actually step foot outside, but travel between the courthouse and their respective underground layers via a series of tunnels designed to shield them from human contact and sunlight.  But no, they are not secretly vampires.  Vampires are soulless, maniacal, undead superbeings that subsist by feeding on human blood and can change into bats.  The justices, however, per constitutional requirement, are not undead.

And yet the protesters protest on regardless of their futility.  This is my problem with modern protesters.  They get all worked up and spend days if not weeks coming up with their clever signs (that “[name of politician or legislation] with a circle and line through it” NEVER gets old), and very little if anything is accomplished.  So I’m got a few ideas that protesters all over this country should think about.

First of all, it’s all about location.  Holler all you want at the steps of the Supreme Court, because it ain’t doing nothing.  But say one word to a dude while he’s at the urinal, and attention is grabbed.  Sure, it’s a man-law violation in the first degree, but I promise you that there is nothing that grabs a dude’s attention quite like when he’s standing with his dick out and another man, also with dick out, tries to start a conversation with him.  The man will be flustered and annoyed for sure, but you know he’s going to stand there in awkward silence and listen to you until he can force out those last few drops.  So, in short: many loud people with signs = bad; one calmly-spoken man with dick out = good.

Second of all, work on some new chants.  The old chants are so overused and commonplace now that nobody even listens to them.  They’re like car alarms.  Here are the old standards that have lost their effectiveness: “We’re here!  We’re queer!  We don’t want anymore [word that rhymes . . . beer?]!”, “What do we want?  [what they want . . . obviously not beer] When do we want it?  Now!”, and of course “Hey hey!  Ho Ho!  [name of 3-5 syllable person or legislation]* has got to go!”  These just fly right over passerbys head.  And by passerbys, I of course mean people with jobs.

(*NOTE: Since I am planning on becoming an evil, bribe-taking senator, I will soon be changing my last name to McCleervonjagermeistinski just so protestors won’t be able to use my name in this chant without looking stupid.  The the kind of preparation that only 2.5 years of Cub Scouts can instill in you.)

So come up with some newer, fresher chants.  I’d recommend ones with harmonies or maybe that can be sung in the round.  Make something that the people you’re protesting against will bob their heads to as they’re walking past.  My ideal protest will have a big black church choir to provide the chants.  “Oh my Jesus!  Oh my Jesus!  We’ve got to raise, raise the tax (Yeah!) on the richest 2% (Oh Lord)!”

Lastly, protest some new people!  I think when we stop and think for two seconds, we can all agree that we all hate every politician in this country, and they know it, so let’s move on.  How about we all protest Madonna?  We all like to protest unfair wealth distributions and/or polices that are “unamerican,” right?  Well, not only has this talentless hack made ungodly amounts of money over the years by singing songs she didn’t write and by being an insufferable asshole (which some people** find endearing), this Michigander also tried to fake a British accent for eight pathetic years! Get her, protesters!

(**Note: Also assholes.)

Or how about Michael Bay?  First, this guy tried to turn the attack on Pearl Harbor, the most dramatic moment of the 20th Century in America, into Titanic Part 2 (I’m sure our grandparents weren’t pissed at all).  Then he gives to the world the mother of all that is overhyped, Shia Lebeouf.  Now, he wants to drop an unholy deuce on everyone’s favorite childhood memory: the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Oh, I’m sorry, the Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles.  This clown can’t be protested enough.

Those are just some ideas, but I’m got more.  The problem is, like these three, all the rest are stupid.  But hey, they couldn’t possibly do any harm to the institution that is the protester.  Just sayin’.

Music Rewind – Tiny Music: Songs from the WTF??!!

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Stone Temple Pilots was my favorite band in middle-school.  They might have been America’s favorite band in middle-school.  I credit them for providing me with the moment when I really fell in love with music.  I was at the McCracken Basketball Camp at Olivet College the summer between 7th and 8th grade.  During a break from practice sessions where I was learning how to become an all-state bench-warmer, I went back to my dorm room to relax and listen to some tunes.  I put on my headphones, pushed play on my Walkman, and immediately started rocking out by myself like only a gangly white boy could (picture a drunk Carlton) to STP’s most renown ditty, “Plush.”  I had heard the song many times before, but this particular time it was like my ears were opened wide for the first time and I finally “got it.”  From that moment on, I was hooked on music like Weiland was (is) hooked on smack, and STP was the smackiest of smack.  Smacktacular.  Smacktastic.  Smackerific.

When I was 15 and in the 9th grade, I probably was the stereotypical STP fan.  We were young, male, awkward, and pissed off.  We were pissed off at just about everything: school, our parents, our teachers, our coaches, our classmates, our teammates, our friends, ourselves, our clothes, our hair, our faces, our legion of pimples, our peach fuzz we tried to pass off as goatees during the summer.  STP, with their dark and brooding but galvanizing mini-epics, anthemized* all that we were feeling.  They were deeper than Nirvana, harder than Pearl Jam, smoother than Alice In Chains, and less Soundgardeny** than Soundgarden.  They were the soundtrack to everything we were experiencing, even if we were still too young and stupid to know what that was.

(*Note: It’s a word.  Look it up.  On second thought, don’t.)

(**Note: Not a word.)

I recall vividly the anticipation for STPs third album.  It came out right at the start of spring of my freshman year in high school, and it was bound to blow everyone’s faces off!  This was going to be the defining moment of my 9th grade year!***  So I and the rest of STP nation sprinted to Warehouse Records and gobbled up the new album on the day of its release.  There it was in our hands: “Tiny Music: Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop.”

(***Note: I did not have a lot of dates at this point in my life.)

We thought the cover-art was awesome (it wasn’t)!  We thought the insert, with it poster fold-out format that didn’t contain a track list anywhere, was bad ass (it wasn’t)!  This was going to be the best album ever!  So I, like the rest of the fans, gave it a good listen.  Then we paused for a minute or two and looked around.  Then we listened to it again.  Then we paused again.  Then raised our right hands with palms up in a confused manner, looked to the other side of the room and collectively said “What the f***??”

It was . . . different.  What was it exactly?  The guitar sound was different, sure.  Weiland’s voice was raspier and higher-pitched, sure.  But that wasn’t it.  Something else was missing, or something was there that shouldn’t be.  This couldn’t be STP!  STP writes dark and powerful angst anthems.  This actually sounded kind of . . . happy!

“What the f***??”

We weren’t ready to admit it yet, but STP had committed the ultimate rock cardinal sin in the eyes of the young, they changed.  By golly did they change!  Where we were expecting five-minute grunge anthems, we got fluffy three-minute experimental alt-pop clunkers.  Where we expecting “Plush” or “Vasoline,” we got “Big Bang Baby” and “Seven Caged Tigers.”

“What the f***??”

We all tried to pass it off as a temporary feeling.  I mean, what feelings did we have that weren’t temporary back then?  We’d ask each other what they thought of the record, and, loyal as we were, we grimaced out a “Oh, it’s . . . great!  I mean, it’s different and kind of weird and bad and all, but it’s great!”  We were loyal indeed.  Loyal and massively perplexed.

Why did this happen?  Why would they do this?  They had such a good thing going!  Why did they have to change?  We weren’t helped by the interviews they did to promote the album.  Any hopes of this being a temporary foray into Happyland were dashed when the Deleo brothers stated that this was the record they had always wanted to make.  And although there were brief moments of energetic anger on the album that somewhat resembled the glory of Core and Purple, three of the four members credited “Seven Caged Tigers,” a song that could put a cocaine addict to sleep, as their favorite song on the record.

“What the f***?”

The album ended up debuting at #1, as could be expected, and would ultimately go double-platinum and have three #1 rock hits.  So, Joe’s pissy high school opinion be damned.  In the end it was a success, right?

Sure.  It was a success in the way that Geraldo’s ventures into Capone’s vault was a success: a lot of people witnessed it, but most wish they hadn’t.  Tiny Music was damn near a career cyanide pill for STP.  Coupled with Scott Weiland’s endless fight with the needle, the disillusionment that Tiny Music bestowed upon the young and ever-angsty STP faithful sent the band’s career on a steep downward trajectory.  Double-platinum sounds good, but not when compared to the band’s previous two releases, which each bested six-time platinum status.

STP would never get back even close to have that fan allegiance.  Three albums****, one breakup/reunion, and a few more Weiland relapses, and four side-project albums later, the once area-packing STP is down to touring Indian casinos like they were KC and the Sunshine Band.

(****Note: Their fourth album, “No. 4,” actually brought back some of the fire that the first two albums had, and fans slowly responded.  It looked like STP was on the rise again, but then quickly came the fifth album, “Shangri La Dee Da,” which would serve as the bands second WTF??!! album.  Not many bands get the opportunity to have a second WTF??!! album.  Credit them for that.)

I sold the album to a secondhand record shop shortly after college, along with Methods of Mayhem’s debut album and Jackyl’s Greatest Hits.*****  A few years ago, I went and re-bought it from another secondhand shop.  Since I had tickets to STP’s reunion tour show at my local Indian casino, I thought I’d give the album another chance to see if it I’d hear it differently as an adult.  I still own it.  In fact, I just listened to it as I was starting this post.

(*****Note: One album I did not sell off until years later, Shania Twain’s “Come On Over.”  Don’t hate.)

It’s not bad.

I don’t think it was ever bad.  There are some really interesting moments on the album.  They were always there.  “Press Play” is a weird but enticing way to start an album.  “Tumble in the Rough” is still a pretty formidable head-banger.  “Art School Girl” rocks in a strange, slight-of-hand way that catches you off-guard.  Even the songs I hated when I was younger, “And So I Know” and “Daisy” to name a few, are at least tolerable and I can now appreciate the musicianship involved in crafting them.  So yeah, not bad.  Maybe in a few years I play it in conjunction with the first two albums and I’ll see that it stacks up nicely with them, or maybe (as the band might wish) I find that it stands out as their best album!

And, of course, monkeys might fly out my butt.

I Wonder If the Rodeo is On Another Channel

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I don’t know for certain what’s happening in those timeout huddles, but after watching the first four rounds of the tournament, I imagine it’s something like this:

“Alright boys, it’s crunch time!  Here’s the play: we’re going to start with the ball in Player 1’s hands about 35 feet from the basket.  Player 1, I want you to take two dribbles towards the corner and pass it to Player 2.  Player 2, I’d better not see you cutting to the basket before you get the ball!  Player 2 dribbles it back out towards the top of the key and passes it back to Player 1; he should be about 2 feet from you.  Then Player 1 takes two dribbles to the other corner and passes it to Player 3.  Again, no cutting!”

“Coach?”

“Yes, Player 4?”

“What do you want me to do?  Should I set some screens while this is happening?”

“No!  We’ll get to you.  For now, just stay by the basket with your hands on your knees.  As I was saying, once Player 3 gets the ball, he looks intently at the basket like he might shoot, but for God’s sake don’t!  Player 3 dribbles it back towards the top of the key and gives up his dribble.  Player 3, hold onto the ball for about 4 seconds and pivot around like an idiot.  Just before the ref whistles you for 5 seconds, throw a lob pass to Player 2, who should be again about 35 feet from the basket.  Player 2, catch it . . .barely!  Now, Player 4, here’s your big moment.  Player 4 pops out to the top of the key.  Player 2 passes to Player 4, who . . .”

“Yeah??”

“. . . passes it immediately back to Player 2.”

“Oh.”

“Player 2 then to Player 1.  Player 1 drives in but dribbles it right back out.  Player 1 to Player 3.  Back to 1.  Back to 3.  Swing it over to 2.  2 to 1.  1 to 3.  Back to 1.  To 2, 1, 2, 1, 4, 3, 1, 3, 2.  Right about now, there should be about 4 seconds left on the shot clock, so start driving towards the basket.  When there’s one second left on the clock, put up an off-balance shot.”

“Coach?”

“Who the hell are you?”

“It’s me, Player 5.”

“Oh!  Yeah, sorry.  What is it?”

“What should I be doing during the play?”

“Hang out by the basket and try to get an offensive rebound when Player 2 bricks his shot.”

“And if I get it, do I go back up with the ball and try to score?”

“No!  Pass it back out to Player 1 and we’ll try the play again!  Eventually, the other team is going to fall asleep from boredom and we’ll have an open look at a three, which we are making 32% of this year.  Come on, guys, you know this!  It’s the only play we run!”

There’s Always Next Year

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(NOTE: This post is inspired by the Spartans’ 44-point calamity in the NCAA tournament, an event my wife will fondly remember as “WHAT THE F*** IS WRONG WITH YOU, YOU STUPID CHUMPS?!?!” Day.)

There are invariable truths that all Michiganders* have come to accept at some point in their lives.  There will be construction at all times on every highway you travel, because our highways are made of Styrofoam.  It will reach 65 sometime in January, and it will snow sometime in late-April.  The only small talk topics we’ve ever mastered are road construction and/or the weather.  And our sports teams will lose.

(*NOTE: A Michigander, as you can imply by the name, is an ungodly mutant hybrid of the Michelin Man and an adult male goose.)

Oh sure, Michigan State has been consistently good at basketball and the Red Wings will always be in the playoffs, but Sweet Sassy Molassy (!), consider what we have witnessed:

– In the post-strike era, the Detroit Tigers went eleven straight seasons without breaking .500 for the year.  You could have bought a puppy on the day after the strike ended and it could have died of natural causes before the Tigers won more than half their games!  In seven of those years, they didn’t get to 70 wins.  In three of them, they didn’t get to 60.

And in 2003, the Tigers’ record was 43 wins and 119 losses, one loss away from the most losses in a season in MLB history, and they had to win five out of their last six to avoid that distinction.  The team that still holds the record for most losses in a season is the ’62 Mets, who were in their first year as a franchise.  The ’03 Tigers were in their 109th year as a franchise.

Even when the Tigers are decent they blow.  In 2009, the Tigers had a three game lead on the Twins with four games left in the season and blew it.  This hadn’t happened in baseball since the turn of the century.  LAST CENTURY.

– Amazingly enough, in the two years after Barry Sanders retired, the Lions were . . . kind of good!  In 1999, they actually made the playoffs (somehow, despite going 8-8).  The 2000 team appeared to be making it back-to-back trips to the playoffs when fate (and a Michigan State grad) devastatingly changed the course of their fortunes for the next decade.  The Lions were 9-6 going into the last game of the year; a home game against the 4-11 Chicago Bears.  A win would have put the Lions in the playoffs, but former-Spartan Paul Edinger kicked a 54-yard field goal (his previous career long was 47 yards) in the final seconds to end the season for the Lions.

Enter: Millen.

Matt Millen took a mediocre franchise and turned it into nightly monologue material on the Tonight Show.  Consider the teams records for Millen’s first seven years: 2-14, 3-13, 5-11, 6-10, 5-11, 3-13, 7-9 (a Millen best).  During that seven-year stretch, Millen was permitted to hire three coaches, none of whom lasted more than 3 years before getting the axe.  We saw a coach “take the wind” after the overtime coin flip.  We saw three straight top-10 draft picks go to wide receivers: Charles Rogers, Roy Williams, and Mike Williams (yeah . . .).  We saw Millen use homophobic slurs against a former player.  We routinely saw the Lions reach double-digit halftime leads, and routinely blow them.  And we saw Millen get CONTRACT EXTENSIONS!

And then came 2008, the first 0-16 season in NFL history.  Only one other team, the ’76 Bucs, had managed to go winless throughout the year (0-14), but of course that team was in its first year as a franchise.  When the Lions became oafers, they were in their 78th year as a franchise.  Sound familiar?  Millen had reached the level that most thought unattainable: absolute zero.  During the midst of its worst economic environment since the Great Depression, the city of Detroit bafflingly was able to look at its professional football team and find people to pity.

With these experiences in tow, most Michigan sports fans just expect losses.  But this mindset is a blessing!  This is why we can appreciate wins like no other sports fans.  A win to us now is like receiving a shoulder rub when you’re expecting a kick in the groin.  It’s like tasting Warsteiner when you’re expecting Natural Light.  It’s like dating Kim when you’re expecting Khloe.  Trust me, you CANNOT understand how euphorically elated we all are whenever the Lions and Tigers win.  You can’t because you just haven’t seen what we’ve seen!  Unlike us, you’ve never been able to say the words “it can’t get any worse” and actually be right!

Your team might win the World Series.  Your team might win the Super Bowl.  And what do you do?  Get drunk and buy a t-shirt?  Golf clap.  When the Tigers got to the World Series in ’06, the governor pardoned 400 violent criminals (many of whom have gone on to have successful careers in politics).  When the Lions secured a playoff spot last year, the entire Detroit metropolitan region had a mass orgy the likes of which made an ancient Greek’s Dionysus veneration look like the Republican National Convention.  Why?  Because it means THAT much to us now!

With this in mind, I’m going to take this Spartan loss like a grownup and look forward to next year.  That’s something we’ve come to appreciate.  No matter if your team scores 44 points in a Sweet 16 game or finishes the season 43-119 or 0-16, there’s always next year.  And next year is always when we’re champions.

I Quit

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I survived a slow and pitiful career suicide attempt only to turn around and shoot myself in the face with a cannon.

After two years as a prosecutor in Arizona, I left my job and moved back to the economically-challenged Midwest with no leads and no contacts.  I had experience in exactly one area of the law, putting drunk drivers in jail for a few days.  I had never filed a lawsuit, never drafted a contract, never drafted a will, never negotiated a settlement, never even had a client.  To 99% of legal employers out there, for those two years I might as well had been a street-sweeper (do they still exist?).  If anyone was bound to have his face show up in a FAIL jpg, it was this guy.  It was to be a slow and painful process, at the end of which I was to ultimately come to accept the fact that I had bled my career to death.

Yet still, I showed up and started sending out my resume to anyone with a job listing.  All I wanted at that point was an interview.  Just let me show up and sell myself in person.  Most didn’t respond.  A few were kind enough to send a rejection letter and then immediately repost the job posting on the state bar website.  Thanks?

Months went by without a positive peep.  Then on a Monday morning not long after the new year, I got a call from the local DA’s office, a place I had sent my resume to some eight months prior.  “Are you still interested in interviewing with the DA’s office?”  YES!!!  I was in  initial interview two days later.  The old veteran I spoke with liked my resume.  He liked it a lot.  He explained that this was just the first step of the interviewing process; the screening interview where they make sure the applicant doesn’t show up wearing a tinfoil hat screaming about the arguments he’s been having with the local light post.  I passed.

He said next would come a very long series of interviews that I could expect to take several days and several trips back to the office.  I had to get sniffed out by all the department heads.  People go through these interviews, and then if they’re good they get put on “the list.”  They don’t get hired, they just become officially hirable.  Then, they sit and wait for their name to get to the top of the list, and when a position opens up, they get offered the spot.  It wasn’t quick.  My wife knew someone who waited for 8 months on the list without getting called before she gave up and found something else.

They called me back the next day.  I was back in their office in less than a week.  I took care of my long series of interviews in one morning.  They called me again the following Monday.  I got the job.

After hearing nothing for months and months, I had a job .  They wanted me.  They wanted me bad.  I was to start the following Monday, exactly three weeks after they first called me.  I was in.  I was working again.  And it only took three weeks.  Three weeks.

And three weeks to the day after I started, I quit.  Face, meet cannon.

The “why” for that is . . . I’m still trying to figure out how to put it.  “Complex” seems so clichéd these days.  Boring?  Probably.  Confusing?  Likely.  Depressing?  Yeah, depressing.  Let’s just say that halfway through my first day I felt like jumping out the window and running away to a beach in Mexico where I’d work on boats.  And that may have been my best day.

I knew I couldn’t work there for long.  After my second day I started sending out new resumes (on which I could indicate that I was currently employed!).  Just stick with it until another job comes along.  Just stick with it for a couple months.  Just stick with it for a month.  Just . . . DONE.

So now I’m screwed.  And what do people who are screwed do?  They start a blog!

I don’t know what this will end up being.  It’s not a diary.  It’s not a place for me just to complain about things.  It will probably contain a lot of thoughts on sports, music, and insights into the little ticks the world can’t help but display.  It might be funny sometimes.  It might be unreadable all the time.  It might be something I give up on in three weeks.  Whatever it ends up being, right now it’s new.  It’s an idea.  A better idea, maybe.